New Graduate Degree Program in Communication Approved for East Stroudsburg University

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on January 25, 2018, No Comments

The Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education approved a master’s degree in communication for East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania on Thursday, January 25.   This new 30-33 credit graduate degree will officially be implemented in summer/fall of 2018 and is geared toward those interested in a professional or academic career in the field. ESU’s new program is among six that were approved by the Board of Governors, representing the State System universities’ latest efforts to address the changing needs of students and employers in Pennsylvania and beyond.

“It truly takes a village, an academic village, to bring a new proposal like this to life,” said Jo Bruno, provost and vice president for academic affairs at East Stroudsburg University.  “One of the great things about this new master’s program is that it will be offered in a hybrid format, which is a combination of face-to-face courses and online offerings. We believe this new program will be attractive to the working professional, particularly those in the local and regional workforce as they address the ever-changing, ever-growing advancements within the communication field.  I am extremely proud of the team of faculty, staff and administrators who worked tirelessly to bring this degree to life.”

According to Dr. Robert McKenzie, professor and chair of communication at ESU, the new master of arts degree in communication is designed to be completed within 15 months and will target currently enrolled undergraduates as well as professionals working within driving distance who are seeking a master’s degree for professional development and/or improved employment prospects.  Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, courses in this new master’s degree will be taught by ESU faculty with supporting temporary faculty with specific industry specializations for certain courses.

“According to published information by EAB (formerly the Education Advisory Board) in 2017, there are more than 2,750 regional job openings that require a master’s degree in communication,” said Dr. William Bajor, director of graduate and extended studies at ESU.  “That statistic was among the many we uncovered as we researched the validity and interest in this degree program.  It is a great fit and we are eager to get the first classes underway.”

Various organizations that have conducted market studies have indicated “vast regional job openings” in public relations, applied communication, political communication and advertising. The State System’s gap analysis projects 78,000 new jobs in professional, technical and management fields that require skills and dispositions consistent with the communication discipline. The data gathered in the study showed that recipients of the new degree would be well suited for occupations including general and operations managers, sales representatives, market research analysts and marketing specialists, social and human service assistants, human resource specialists and management analysts.

For more information on this degree program, please contact Dr. William Bajor, director, office of graduate and extended studies at wbajor@esu.edu or (570) 422-3588.

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, enrolling more than 100,000 degree-seeking students and thousands more in certificate and other career-development programs. Collectively, the 14 universities that comprise the State System offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas. Nearly 520,000 State System university alumni live in Pennsylvania.